Get Smarter- Join Online Q&A forums and ease your day to day task

Posted on 18 November, 2016

Here comes my topic-2 of SETU 2016. Well, this is developing an interest in me of writing blogs. Perhaps, my this topic interests me the most! SETU is not an initiative which is only benefiting the aspiring IT professional studying in colleges but also being in a corporate world, we hardly get time to interact with people offline. Thus, SETU becomes a platform for us where we can witness the fresh talent and gets the privilege to serve our knowledge to the future of our country! I would like to congratulate team Emipro and Atmiya institute of science and technology for such a wonderful platform. It is worth appreciating!

Like our SETU platform, there is one of the most in-trend online platform nowadays which has come up with lots of revolutionary changes is the form of Q&A or we can say a discussion forum. It is a sort of message board extremely different from a chat room wherein one can post questions and quarries of his/her own field and even can raise issues for discussion. It is a platform where you can post any question of your respective field or interest and can expect the best answer or the most convincing answer as you will get many numbers of answers from different experts of the field. 

Getting many ready solutions for a single query and that too from the experts’ panel is just like having an unlimited Pizza platter free with chocolate walnut brownie in the dessert.

Don’t you feel like heaven when instead of investing hours in finding a solution for anything, you can have a ready to implement solutions in just fractions of second? Yes it even yummy than having a ready to cook sachet, isn’t it?

Not only this, even being an aspiring IT professional you yourself can respond to the questions posted by anyone and can serve your knowledge on the forum. It is like helping somebody who might not even meet you any day and you could not expect any return from them but still, it is beneficial for you, ah seems unnatural in today’s era where everyone thinks of having a tangible profit out of everything. Trust me it’s exciting even more than earning a lac of rupees!

In a nutshell, you can say that an online forum is a discussion area on a website wherein members can post questions, read and respond to any post which is posted by other forum members.

There are a number of online forums in recent times having really a good stuff which can be useful to each one of us be it a technical or non-technical professionals or students. Below is the list of such forums which I feel to be most informative and useful one:

  • Stack Overflow
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Web developer
  • Codeproject
  • Odoo
  • Techguy

A list can be so long that half of my blog can be filled with it. But the above stated are my personal favourites. The most preferred and used forum by me is StackOverflow. This is a platform which I have realised to be a milestone for me as this have stupendously increased my technical knowledge. In fact, I have a routine activity to answer the questions that are posted by somebody in this forum. To our proud, today our company Emipro is one of the known profile in this forum. Let’s have a glimpse of Emipro's Stackoverflow profile :

As mentioned in the above paragraphs, just imagine a situation in which you are stuck because of some very minor query and could not solve it after lots of brainstorming. It may happen that answer is quite obvious but just because your mind is now tired thinking of the same thing you are in great trauma. Now being a member of StackOverflow forum, you just post your query as a question in that and TADA! It's done (Though it is not that much easy!). You got your answer just in a moment of half an hour from many experts across the world. Of Course, you can google it too but you will not get a personalised solution as you will have in Stack Overflow. Well, here it comes our duty to provide a feedback to the member from whom we got the accurate answer. It really matters! And yes, as a gesture of goodwill you should be ready to answer too if you find any question for which you have an answer. Remember these forums are not a marketing tool, it's a knowledge sharing platform.

In today’s era we have lots of options in choosing the forums but below are some of the characteristics of Good online forums which you can keep in mind while registering yourself as a member of any forum.

Characteristics of Good Online Forums

  • There must be thread based discussion i.e., one must be able to comment on an individual question or an answer of his choice. This will avoid confusion and will have more scope to explore things.

  • Filtration of questions is very important because it will save the time of an individual and can directly see the question he/she is looking for.

  • Along with filtration option, tag based searching of topics must be applied in order to save time and have exposure to the right thing and at the same time one can have multiple things to see with same tag so can explore more.
  • It should be user-friendly which gives ease in formatting the post an individual wants to do. Thus if the time consumption is less in posting something, more users will participate in the forum.
  • Good community forums must have the moderators who cleanups the forums.
  • There should be a system like raising a flag so that the quality of the post can be determined before starting to read it. 
  • A good forum also has a feature like Gamification which indeed is an engaging tool for any user to participate in forums. This concept of gamification indulges the user in getting addicted as it is sort of games and the levels you win in the games.
  • Examples of gamification are There should be reward options in form of badges on good achievements of members like 1 Gold badge for Upvote 100 questions or answers or 1 Silver badge for edit 100 poor quality questions or answers.
  • There can be an option to grant privileges on each milestone like Members can edit others post after crossing 2000 reputation or Members can create tags after crossing 3000 reputations.
  • A good forum always has an option to rate the participator. The person who have asked for any question and when he gets his answer then he is supposed to rate one grade Up and have his feedback which will become an achievement for another person.
  • A system like Bounties which is a main board of the forum, wherein user can select which questions to be displayed on the main board which can attract other users to visit the forum. 

So these are some of the points you can think upon while getting register to your favourite online forum.

Benefits of being a member of Online Forum

  • By participating in such forums one can get an extraordinary exposure to his/her interested area.
  • It is a platform where you can unearth minute details about a subject and can also serve your knowledge to other users and can become a famous identity on forums.
  • If something is not getting solved by and taking too much time then Online forum can search an answer for you in no time.
  • As the forums are built up when persons of same interest are gathered thus there is a rare chance of having an unwanted argument. 
  • Also, the answers or the comments are rarely insignificant as people mostly have a huge research and then have their answers posted on the forum as it is visible to the large community.
  • One can easily save developing time by searching an apt solution from online forum instead of building a logic from the scratch.
  • Being on an online forum, you build a virtual group so though you do not meet all the users but still there is a relationship where you are helpful to each other.
  • This will be a good platform to judge you and evaluate to what extent you still need to work and sharpen your knowledge.
  • Nowadays there is a trend in MNC IT companies to showcase your StackOverflow  profile or any such forum profile and it is considered to be an added advantage to your portfolio. 
  • You can create your unique identity by involving yourself into forums and create better reputations by giving good answers and asking good questions which other members vote up. Along with this, you will  also get badges as a reward for your contribution to the community.
  • Your reputation and badges will help you to get better opportunities for job and business, because nowadays IT companies post requirements on forums like StackOverflow, Quora etc. Also clients sometimes directly look for the company/resources who are performing well in the community for the technology they are searching.
  • Your skills will be improved gradually by asking good questions on the community because the community has selected moderators who clean up the community as well as who maintains quality thus one needs to make his level up to be a part of such forums.
  • By participating in the forums and answering the question of other users one will get high-end expertise in understanding the requirements and needs of the one who has posted the question. Thus your skills will get polished which will be indeed a  boon to you when you will be in the field.
  • Also as to answer a question you need an in-depth knowledge of that particular area you will be indulged into a vast research which will in return have your intellectual level higher.
  • Gradually your accuracy and speed of solving the question will definitely increase and thus you will get one more extra edge.
  • One can get multiple solutions for one question thus one can have a wide range of choice out which he/she can choose which one is the best and accurate solution for his/her query.
  • Being in such forum you get a chance to analyse yourself by studying the performance ratio and contribution to the community.

Listing down all the benefits is not possible but yes being in this field for quite a long period I can assure that participating in such forums will have miraculous advantages for you in your professional life. A fact which you might not be knowing is, everybody’s dream company Google recruits the candidate not by reviewing his/her resume but his/her StackOverflow profile. If you are still not a user of such platform then it's high time to get registered and remember, 

 It’s never too late to have a fresh start.

At Emipro, we always encourage and inspire our young talents to actively participate and spare a dedicated time to contribute in this amazing Q/A platform, StackOverflow.

I hope you find this post exciting. See you soon.


Viraj Joshi , Sr. Odoo Developer
SETU

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